Mini Berry Pie

mini-berry-pieOne of my family’s favorite foods is berries. I can set a bowl filled with berries on the table and in the next instant they are gone. This time of year, we do not have access to the fresh berries they love, so I often buy frozen berries at the grocery store.

My children will just eat frozen berries right out of the bag, but my husband would rather have them as part of a recipe. So, I usually make a compromise – if my children help me make a recipe with the frozen berries, we will set some of the frozen berries off to the side for them to eat as a treat after they are done helping. Our recipe of the month for November is Mini Berry Pie and this is the perfect recipe for my children to help with and get their treat at the end.

Here are some ways that children can help with Mini Berry Pies:

  • Spray tortillas with cooking spray,
  • Stir cinnamon sugar mixture and sprinkle it on the tortillas,
  • Fit the tortillas into the muffin tins,
  • Add berries, sugar, and cornstarch to the saucepan (mom does the cooking),
  • Older children can pour the berry filling into the tortilla bowls.

I enjoy having my children help out in the kitchen because it teaches them about the food they are eating, makes them more likely to taste the food, and teaches them basic cooking and safety skills.  For more about including children in the kitchen, check out this video and this handout.

Mini Berry Pie

Serving Size: 1 shell with 1/4 cup fillingmini-berry-pie-label
Serves: 5
Cost Per Serving: $0.83
Ingredients: 
Pie Crust
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 5 whole wheat tortillas (6″)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Pie Filling
  • 1 bag (16 ounces) frozen mixed berries (2 ½ cups)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
Instructions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Lay tortillas flat. Spray one side of each tortilla with cooking spray.
  4. Combine sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle mixture on the tortillas.
  5. Place the tortillas in the muffin tin. Fit them into the muffin bowls. The cinnamon and sugar will be on the inside of the bowls. Bake the tortillas for 13 to 15 minutes. They will be light brown and crisp.
  6. Put berries in a medium saucepan over low heat.
  7. Stir sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add mixture to thawed berries.
  8. Cook over medium heat. Mixture will start to get thick and bubble. Cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat.
  9. Put 1/4 cup berry filling into each tortilla bowl.
Tips: 
  • Mini pies have a great fresh taste in the middle of winter.
  • Make tortilla bowls ahead of time. Store in an airtight container. Do not add filling until serving.
  • Add a spoonful of yogurt to the top of the filling.
Justine Hoover

Justine Hoover

Justine Hoover is a Registered Dietitian and mom who loves to cook for her family.

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Berry Buying and Storing

berries 2Spring signals gardening, baseball, bike rides, sandals, and BERRIES.

Blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries not only are delicious, but they are also top in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins. (Antioxidants may help increase our immune function and protect against cancer and heart disease.)

Purchasing Berries

Berries (except for cranberries)  are “in season” in late spring and summer which means they will be less expensive now than other times of the year.

When buying, look for firm, plump, full-colored berries. Avoid buying bruised or oozing berries. Turn the container over to check berries at the bottom. Berries don’t continue to ripen after harvest, so when choosing strawberries stay away from green or yellow ones.

When I see a good deal on berries, I buy extra and freeze them. To freeze, put a single layer on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer. When frozen, put them in a freezer bag. This way they don’t freeze together and you can take out just what you need.

Storing Berries

When you get berries home, cover and refrigerate them but wait to wash them until you are ready to use them. This way they will hold for several days. To wash, put the berries in a colander and spray with clean running water and then spread on a paper towel to dry.

How to Serve Berriesstrawberry cut

Try to serve berries au natural so you don’t add a bunch of calories to them. Here are a few ideas:

  • Put some in a plastic container to eat as a snack or lunch on the go
  • Add to a bowl of whole grain cereal
  • Make a yogurt parfait
  • Sprinkle on salads
  • Make fruit kabobs along  with other fruits such as pineapple chunks, bananas, and grapes.
  • Add to frozen ice cream or yogurt
  • Make smoothies

 

For more information about berries, here is another resource:

Selecting, Storing, and Serving Ohio Blueberries, Blackberries, and Raspberries

 

Peggy Signature


Thirsty?

As the weather starts getting warmer, having something cold and tasty to drink is on my mind a lot.  After taking my dog for a walk, playing with my son at the park, or working in the yard, I am thirsty for something cold.  The water that comes out of the tap is just not cold enough, so what is a girl to do?

When we are thirsty, water really is the perfect choice.  It keeps us hydrated and healthy, it has no calories, and it is inexpensive.  Here is a comparison of some drinks I found (costs are from Central Iowa, April 2012):

Beverage Calories Per 8 ounces Grams of Sugar per 8 ounces Cost Per Gallon
Tap Water 0 0 $0.00435
Bottled Water 0 0 $1.57
Sugar-Free Drink Mix 2 0 $2.59
Sports Drink 50 14 $4.19
Regular Soda 100 27 $4.44
Diet Soda 0 0 $4.44
Bottled Tea 0-90 0-23 $8.32
Energy Drink 0-140 0-31 $13.48
Orange Juice 110 24 $7.61
100% Fruit Juice 120 29 $7.64
Lemonade (from mix) 60 16 $1.50
Juice Boxes 90 21 $4.80
Reduced Fat Chocolate Milk 180 24 $4.17

If plain water is not for you, here are a few ideas to try:

  • Freeze juice in ice cube trays and cool down your glass of water with flavored ice cubes.
  • Put cut up fruit in a pitcher of water in the refrigerator – the flavor of the fruit will flavor the water.  Oranges, lemons, limes, kiwi and berries work really well for this.
  • Put water in a special cup or water bottle and store it in the refrigerator so it is easy to grab in a hurry.  Sometimes water tastes great plain when it is in a special cup.
  • Add low-calorie drink mixes (such as Crystal Light) to your water.

Check out choosemyplate.gov this May through August to see what the USDA is doing to promote drinking water instead of sugary drinks.

Justine Hoover, MS, RD, LD

Justine Hoover

Justine Hoover

Justine Hoover is a Registered Dietitian and mom who loves to cook for her family.

More Posts - Website

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